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Dr. Cynthia Chambers receives Harold Love Award from THEC

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JOHNSON CITY (April 18, 2014) — East Tennessee State University’s Dr. Cynthia Chambers has been selected by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to receive a Harold Love Award.

Five students and five faculty or staff members are chosen annually from among the state’s public and private colleges and universities for the $1,000 awards, which recognize outstanding community service performed at the campus level.

Chambers, an associate professor in the Claudius G. Clemmer College of Education’s Department of Teaching and Learning, received the 2011 and 2013 Clemmer College Faculty Award for Service. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam appointed her to the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities in 2012.

Chambers has spearheaded many community service initiatives, including Siblings United workshops for children ages 4 to 14 whose siblings have disabilities. The sessions provide a place to talk about sibling issues, as well as meet and build relationships with children in similar situations. While the siblings are meeting, Families United offers training and information sessions for their parents and guardians.

Another community service effort begun by Chambers is Turning Pages Together, a book club that encourages and supports adolescents and adults with and without developmental disabilities in reading activities. The program has grown from one book club to more than 10 clubs in the Tri-Cities area.

POP Arts (Power of Performing Arts), co-founded by Chambers in 2011, is an inclusive, year-round performing arts program for children and adults with and without exceptionalities. Community partners assist with opportunities for participation in music, dance, acting, storytelling and writing. Participants have performed multiple showcases and open houses, attracting over 200 audience members.  

In addition, over a year ago, Chambers had her heart stolen by a 10-week-old malnourished kitten. She named him Lazarus. Appropriately, Lazarus made a great recovery, in spite of having a cleft palate and lacking a nose and upper lip.

The cat’s recovery led to Learning with Laz, a program presented to school children about ways individuals can find and celebrate unique characteristics within themselves.

A related program, Laz’s Pet Supply Challenge, is an initiative to encourage school-aged children to collect pet supplies for area animal shelters.  

For further information, contact Chambers at (423) 439-7586 or .